Sunday, May 17, 2020

Human Nature, Computer Woes, and The Light at the End - Maybe?

Just how conformist are humans? Are we the fierce competitors that many predators are (cats, for example)?

Or, are we cuddly puppy dogs, working with master/pack to bring home the bacon?

The article at the above link makes a persuasive argument for the latter concept.

Another writer, Gavin Haynes, looks at two examples of Competitive Virtue-Signaling, and how that works in real life. I confess, when I read about the Ravelry uproar, my first, last, and only thought was: I just cannot believe that they are torching the site over something so far removed from its original purpose.

That I can't put myself into their shoes may be more about my disinclination to be a part of a ravaging pack of girls. Some formative experiences in middle school, and, later, in a nearly all-female workplace, turned me off the desire to be a part of a conformist group (if it ever appealed all that much to a loner like me).

Now to better things. My long computer nightmare may nearly be over.

  • My replacement Pi 4 board arrived yesterday afternoon, and was assembled and put into play almost immediately. From the instant of boot-up, it worked well - loading web pages picked for their usual slowness, testing out keyboard response, loading up multiple programs and switching from one to another. So far, so good. I'll be putting it through some rigorous testing for the next few weeks, but, its safe to say that I'm highly satisfied, so far.
  • I received notice that a replacement for my Seagate external drive connector will arrive today. It's held up normal backup for several months. I'd been looking for it, and not succeeding; finally, late last week, I checked into how much a replacement would be - less than $7, shipping free. I ordered it immediately (and, using a credit card with points, got it for free - double good). Fortunately, it is arriving before my replacement battery for the Macbook, so I shall be able to write an image of the drive before fiddling around with the switch.
  • And, last, the replacement battery for the laptop. When first bought, I could count on a full day (or more) of use off the cord. Lately, it's been running out of power early. Last 2 weeks, I've scarcely been able to work off the tether for an hour. I checked out the possibility of getting the Geek Squad to replace it (other peripherals were covered - TV, husband's PC, etc.). Alas, on 4/30, the 11" Macbook Air was officially declared obsolete. Hence, not fit for battery replacement. The GS guy was chill - he opened it, saw that - unlike other Macs - the battery wasn't soldered in, and suggested that I buy one online and replace it myself. I put in an order that day, and it will be delivered tomorrow. WITH the screwdriver types that are needed for the job.
The moral of this story?

Always order more RAM than you think you'll ever need. That was part of the problem with the Pi.

Be wary of all-female groups - they might be a wonderful support group, they might be the Conformity Enforcement Squad from Hell.

And, if you're considering Mac vs. PC vs. Linux?
  • Macs are great for those who don't want to open the box. Due to warranty restrictions, most owners will not handle even small repairs on their own. I made a decision, while other facets of my life were unduly complicated, to buy into the Mac world. I've regretted it ever since, but it was too much of a burden to switch, as I'd lose the investment in software, as well as hardware. I'm spending the time and money to keep it going, for now, but, should a bigger repair loom, I'll kick the OS to the curb, and not look back. If the hardware is reasonably sound, I'll re-configure it as a Linux machine.
  • PC's have their deficits. They can be prone to failures/quirkiness, in part due to manufacture shortcuts (making the decision to build cheaply, rather than robustly). When, for some reason, the components don't mesh well together, it can be a major PITA. Additionally, as the platform is more common, so are the viruses (virii). If you're into music or art, it's not the best choice.
  • Linux? Not for the beginner, unless you have an LG (Linux Guru) to guide you through the first steps. Can be a steep learning curve for the noob. When you have to install peripherals, it helps to start with the economy-sized bottle of booze (for AFTER the day's trials). OTOH, there are social media groups, Youtube videos, and For Dummies-type books.Thanks to the Maker Movement, there are even local resources. The desktop GUI has become nearly indistinguishable from other OS environments. And the Rebels enjoy Sticking It to The Man.
I live in SC. We're basically Open for Business (the last ones to be released will open by Monday), for those that survived the shutdown. Amazingly, as Charlotte, NC is about 1/2 hour away from my city, there is pressure on the NC government officials to follow that decision, ASAP. Nothing like competition to spur response time.

NC is already clobbered by the difference in gas prices - as SC is noticeably cheaper than NC, you can't find too many stations between the city and the border. One poor owner, a few years ago, had his business ruined when a border dispute was resolved in favor of NC. Once he had to raise his prices to include the NC state taxes, it wiped out his competitive advantage. He owned a worthless piece of property.

Once SC opened for business, the NC small business community raised hell with the Shutdown Czars. That, combined with the Raleigh protests, will tank further efforts to keep the state locked down.

Expect the pressure to open to spread like a teenage fad.

1 comment:


"Expect the pressure to open to spread like a teenage fad."

From your keyboard to Hashem's inbox. :)

I was at the local hardware store having persuaded the wife to let me plant some blackberries (finally, after years of asking). The line to get in was amazing. And many, like myself, were not wearing masks.